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Local businesses at CVG offer a taste of Cincy for travelers


Beer, bourbon, and black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. These Cincy region staples are becoming standouts at CVG through the airport’s partnerships with locally owned Braxton Brewing Company, Cork ‘n Bottle, and Graeter’s Ice Cream. These establishments bring local flavor to passengers from around the world.

Braxton Brewing Company

braxton-taproom A large greenery wall and window for up-close plane viewing greet travelers as they walk into Braxton’s taproom in Concourse A, along with a bar, televisions, and rows of tables that allow customers, including families, to enjoy meals before or after flights. This taproom, which opened in spring 2023, is Braxton’s first full-service restaurant.

“Food is very important to the overall experience, and our location at CVG is helping us lead the way on what having food at all our locations looks like,” says Braxton co-founder and chief executive officer Jake Rouse.

Rouse and his team worked with CVG to establish a food menu that caters to a crowd who is looking for a quick bite to eat, especially during the airport’s busiest time: the mornings.

braxton-taproom-group-photo-cropped The brewery adapted its existing Taco Fuerte menu to feature breakfast tacos and burritos, breakfast nachos, eggs and tots, and more signature items.

“People are really loving the menu, the flexibility, and the quickness. We are getting good feedback on the beer as well,” says Rouse.

Braxton has not yet used CVG to test new products, although that is something the company may tap into. For now, Braxton’s business is taking advantage of the airport’s captive audience.

“We are opening our brand up to so many more customers and potential customers who could go buy our beer at the thousands of locations that sell it across Cincinnati."

graeters Down the way from Braxton is long-established Cincinnati sweet shop, Graeter’s. The family-owned, handcrafted ice cream business has been dishing out delicious treats to locals in the Cincy region since 1870 and has been serving travelers from around the world at CVG since 2013. The company started with a smaller scoop of the airport experience when it opened two kiosks: one in Concourse A and one in B.

Passengers proved they were craving Graeter’s flavors while on the go, and the sweet shop worked with CVG to replace both kiosks with an inline store in Concourse A. Graeter’s chief of retail operations, Chip Graeter, says this decision was icing on the cake.

“What really cemented us in the airport was when we opened our inline store in 2016. I was very proud and excited to be a part of that store,” says Graeter.

graeters-mom-and-daughter-cropped The fourth-generation owner and operator of the business says starting the store at CVG was an easy process thanks to their relationship with the airport, contractors, and his highly reliable team. The airport store showcases its most popular items across three product lines: ice cream, candy, and baked goods. The busy mornings at CVG allow Graeter’s to serve delicious donuts and comforting coffees to thousands of travelers who fly out of the airport daily.

"We have the ability to reach people who would never see our store otherwise. They might have heard about Graeter’s in a publication or book, and they can experience it themselves without leaving the airport,” says Graeter.

The chief of retail operations is proud to operate a business that brings joy to all. His family’s treats are a great way to sweeten a flight out of CVG and provide a taste of home to those returning.

cork-n-bottle Another taste of home at CVG, especially for Kentucky travelers, can be found at Cork ‘n Bottle. Hundreds of bourbons, including rare varieties, wines, and spirits can be tasted and/or purchased at two locations: an inline store in Concourse B and a kiosk in Concourse A. Later in 2023, the kiosk in Concourse A will be replaced with a second inline store.

“We are constantly looking for different business formats. We have found the CVG relationship to be very strong, and we think it’s because of the breadth of customer exposure that the airport provides,” says Tom Neyer, owner of Cork ‘n Bottle. “Being able to introduce Kentucky’s finest spirits to the global audience is good for Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region.”!

cork-n-bottle-store-front Cork ‘n Bottle took a similar flight path to Graeter’s and launched its business at CVG as a kiosk in 2018. After two years of successful business, the beverage shop opened its first inline location at the start of the pandemic. Cork ‘n Bottle persevered through its partnership with the airport.

“CVG has been [a] transparent and constructive business partner,” says Neyer. “The people involved [from] top to bottom have been even-handed, fair minded, and are looking for a win-win.”

Neyer says his stores at the airport are perfect for travelers looking to grab a bottle to enjoy once they arrive at their destination, or for travelers who want to relax before their flight and try some of the best locally made beverages. Either way, Cork ‘n Bottle’s locations are sure to lift spirits.

CVG is always looking to bring more local businesses and flavors to the airport to provide a unique Cincy experience to the more than 7.8 million passengers it serves annually; this includes food, beverage, and retail store concepts. In mid-August 2023, the airport will be open for new business solicitations in these areas. If you’d like more information on how to start doing business at CVG, please email procurement@cvgairport.com.